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Department of Rapid Transit Systems

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Circular Line Phase I Target Times for Goals of Construction Completion and Line Opening Can Be Met with Taipei City Actively Promoting the Metropolitan Circular Network, Enabling Taipei Metropolitan Area to Become a More Progressive City

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je in the morning of August 10 inspected the construction of the Circular line Phase I. In addition to gaining an understanding of the construction status of the facilities at Dapinglin Station and Shisizhang Station along with the dynamic testing for the electric train cars and the operation control center as well as expressing positive affirmation regarding the completion of construction and opening of the Circular line, Mayor Ko also stated that Taipei City Government’s continual promotion of the circular network  in the capital city is enabling Taipei Metropolitan Area to move towards becoming a more progressive city.

Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) stated that overall construction progress has currently reached 90% for the Circular line. Furthermore, seven newly style electric train cars which will provide convenient transportation for passengers have arrived at South Depot, and a variety of testing operations have been carried out. The completion of the entire train car fleet for the Circular line has been formally announced. To date the EMS system for the Circular line has also been completed to provide electricity for the entire line, and the operation control center has also been completed. In addition, initial inspection of automated driving has also been conducted for the electric train cars. In the future, a variety of testing and system integration for the entire line will continue to be carried out, and Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation employees will receive educational training so that trial runs can commence and the goal of opening the line to the public can be attained at an early date.

As for cooperation between Taipei City and New Taipei City, considerations involving the unification of authority, engineering quality, and interface integration have been agreed upon by the two cities and reported to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) with approval granted in November 2006. Taipei City Government served as the local competent authority for construction and land development; however, because the Circular line Phase I is located in New Taipei City the relevant funds were covered by the New Taipei City Government and the central government.
Taipei City DORTS said that currently for the structure of the entire route segment, all track construction has been completed and the work teams are stepping up their efforts with high morale for tasks related to the architectural decorations, E&M and HVAC systems of the stations. The locations of the construction for the entire line are in urban areas which are narrow, heavily trafficked, and have dense pipelines. Among these locations, along Jingping Road in Zhonghe District there is a 2.21km MRT viaduct which runs co-linearly with the Provincial Highway No. 64. In addition to the requirement of using specialized equipment in the narrow areas underneath the viaduct to carry out basic construction, the MRT pier could only be set up in the three-meter gap between the highway road deck plates. Because Zhongshan Road and Bannan Road in Zhonghe District are both narrow, in order to avoid being too close to residential living spaces on both sides, the originally-planned parallel dual line rail was modified into Taiwan’s first stacked top and bottom overlapping viaduct and stacked station, which was more challenging than previous MRT construction projects. Fortunately, through the positive and unremitting work attitude of the construction teams, all of the difficulties were overcome, and the construction was completed.

The Circular line Phase I runs through Xindian, Zhonghe, Banqiao, and Xinzhuang districts and stretches a total length of 15.4km with 14 stations and one depot. After construction is completed and the line is opened for operation, 20 minutes of time can be saved traveling between Xindian and Xinzhuang, and passengers will be able to transfer to Songshan-Xindian line, Zhonghe-Xinlu line, Bannan line, Wanda line, and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line. This will closely integrate Taipei City and New Taipei City as golden twin cities and bring about development to areas located along the line, enabling the MRT route network in Taipei Metropolitan Area to maximize its economic benefits.

DORTS explained that the completed Taipei MRT routes span a distance of 136.6km (117 stations) with a daily capacity of 2.1 million passenger trips. In order to effectively improve the accessibility and mobility of the MRT system and drastically reduce travel time, DORTS is actively promoting construction planning for the Circular line North Section and South Section, and the project has already entered the phase of being reviewed by the central government. DORTS is already striving to have the project included in MOTC’s Forward-looking Infrastructure, and has established a promotion task force for the Metropolitan Circular line. In order to cooperate with the development of the east district and to solve traffic problems in Neihu, DORTS is actively studying the Circular line East Section, and in the future after construction is completed on the Circular line North Section and South Section, together with the upcoming completion of Circular line Phase I, they will form a Metropolitan Circular Network. The network will span a distance of 49.18km, and train cars will link together with six lines and connect 42 stations passing through 14 administrative districts in Taipei City and New Taipei City.